Kindness crops up everywhere, but it’s so often unnoticed and unsung. However, the people of Dunterlie, an area of the East Renfrewshire town of Barrhead, deserve a full chorus for their big hearts.
There have been times when Dunterlie has had excellent resources to support community activity, and times when there’s not much to go around. But whether in good times or bad, at the heart of this small community is a rich culture of support and sharing. The most recent volunteer-led initiative is a great example of people power and kindness.
Last summer, local volunteers partnered with Crookston Community Group to run a foodshare pilot in Dunterlie Resource Centre. The pilot project was a big hit and proved there was an appetite to turn the foodshare into a weekly venture. Of course, a weekly commitment couldn’t happen without volunteers and their dedication paid off when they secured funding through East Renfrewshire’s Linking Community Fund – funding which will support the foodshare to run every Friday until May 2020. And that’s not the only good news. Dunterlie’s superb volunteers have also signed up for an annual subscription with FareShare, a national organisation distributing surplus food to communities all over Scotland, combating hunger and tackling food waste into the bargain.
Dunterlie Foodshare has shared this ethic, in its own way. The project not only saves excess food from going to waste, but it brings local people together, filling their fridges with fresh produce for free. It’s a space where everyone is welcome and can get to know neighbours over a cuppa and chat.
Volunteers are the driving force of Dunterlie Foodshare, but East Renfrewshire Council’s Communities Team provide weekly support and are amongst many other local people and services who are lending a helping hand. It takes support from many partners to make this local Foodshare possible, and they, in turn, benefit from the opportunity to be involved with such a tremendous community effort. A great example of this collective community work comes from East Renfrewshire Council’s Unpaid Work Team, who collect food every Friday from the Fareshare warehouse and deliver to Dunterlie’s resource centre.
There really is something special about Dunterlie’s foodshare, and the people who make it happen, you can feel it in the room every single Friday. It’s so good to see how food, and people who care about community, can make a real difference for families whose circumstances can change drastically from week to week. Thanks to kindness and community concern local people can stock up their store cupboards in time for the weekend, maybe even appreciating something new, or finding a family food favourite.
In these uncertain times there are few guarantees but everyone who comes along to Dunterlie Foodshare is guaranteed to receive a cheery hello as well as a bag of fresh food which has been put together with kindness, care and attention.
Laura Mathieson is a community co-ordinator in Dunterlie, East Renfrewshire one of the communities Corra works alongside as part of the People in Place programme, find out more here.